You know how HBO’s Euphoria got a rise out of people by putting so many penises on full display in its second episode? This Sunday’s hour (10/9c) features a bunch more male nether regions unencumbered by clothing, and I — in a decidedly non-prurient way — am here for it.
Here’s why. I cover a bunch of premium cable dramas for TVLine, which means that in the seven years I’ve been on staff, I’ve watched a whole lotta female TV characters take it all off. A sampling of what I’ve seen includes: fantasy boobs (Game of Thrones), android boobs (Westworld), incarcerated boobs (Orange Is the New Black), historical boobs (Masters of Sex), time-travel boobs (Outlander), criminal boobs (Power), hipster boobs (Girls), holy boobs (American Gods) and ballet boobs (Flesh and Bone). For many of these women, going topless also meant going bottomless — often for the sake of the story, but sometimes just to amp up a scene’s hubba-hubba quotient.
Conversely, these shows have featured far fewer of their male characters teeing up the full monty. There are exceptions, of course; Oz, Spartacus and True Blood spring to mind. Even Thrones had its moments of dudes in the altogether (hello, Olyvar!), though those were so infrequent that they stand out in our pop-culture memory. Nude women, on the other hand, were as commonplace in Westeros as treachery, incest and Dornish red.
But Euphoria? Euphoria has done for dicks what ER did for medical jargon: Get it out in the open, make it a little less gnarly. And while I meant what I said in my most recent recap — that to focus on the nudity is to miss the show’s greater message about the state of teenhood today — I would be remiss if I didn’t somehow celebrate that this show is treating dongs like commonplace set dressing.
In other words: It’s not so much that I want to see that many schlongs out in the open, but I rest easier knowing they’re there. Like a smoke detector. Or gravity.
And if Euphoria is offering up too many trouser snakes for your tastes? Too bad. You can’t swing an Emmy on a prestige TV set without hitting a bevy of barenaked ladies, and it’s about time that the reverse became true: Tit, as they say, for tat.